Thursday, May 29, 2014

AvFinity's Upgraded FAA Connection

AvFinity recently completed upgrading our FAA/NADIN/AFTN connection to the latest version of CMHP.  This upgrade was required by the FAA and provides stability and increased messaging efficiency.   For our customers, this means that your flight plans now file faster than ever with the FAA and the roger backs/acknowledgments are returned in milliseconds!

This FAA Connection also provides access to the world wide AFTN network for messaging with international agencies (EuroControl, SENEAM,  airlines and aviation service companies).

For more information on AvFinity's Aviation Services, please contact us.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

AvFinity Mexico APIS Manifest Filing For General Aviation Pilots

AvFinity, just released their updated Registered User site that makes it very easy for a General Aviation Pilot to submit APIS manifests.  APISGA™ is AvFinity’s web browser-based service for Private Aviation clients.  It facilitates manifest filings into USCBP, Mexico (SAT and INM), Panama, and the Dominican Republic API programs.  All for one low price of $35 per flight per country!

Click on the "Create Account" link and get started!


The FAA has introduced NextGen, an ambitious initiative designed to transform the entire U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). One of the FAA’s early implementations has occurred in two flight-critical NAS subsystems: NADIN and WMSCR. Soon, both of these subsystems will only be accessible via the FAA’s new interface, known as the Common Message Handling Protocol (CMHP).
As an example, flight plan filing now must use CMHP over TCP/IP to interface to the FAA’s National Airspace Data Interchange Networks (NADIN). In turn, NADIN interfaces with the global Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN). AFTN access not only allows aviation entities to manage global flight plans but also a multitude of other flight critical messaging including slot requests, catering requests, overfly permits, etc.
In a particularly notable advancement, NextGen also makes real-time weather data more accessible to decision makers via its new CMHP interface. This new weather stream gives more accurate real-time information when dealing with forecasts and changes in unpredicted weather. The FAA’s weather data and Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) are available through the Weather Message Switching Center Replacement (WMSCR).

Realizing NextGen Benefits

In order to benefit from the NextGen enhancements to NADIN and WMSCR, airlines now must connect directly to the FAA using resident software that can translate CMHP. But the roadmap to switching over to CMHP can be long and arduous if the solution is built in-house.
Becoming CMHP-ready requires an airline to:
  • Research the CMHP library, architect a solution, and write a CMHP application that integrates into the airline’s back-end systems and communicates via CMHP.
  • Test the application internally.
  • Test the application with the FAA at three levels: CMHP conformance; interoperability testing; and maintenance activity in the case of degraded operation.
AvFinity CMHP NADIN Connect Architecture AdvantagesOnly after successful testing in all three levels can an airline connect to NADIN and WMSCR under the new NextGen protocol. From start to finish, the process may take three years or more and occupy the full attention of two or more internal or outsourced developers. By comparison, airlines can benefit from NextGen in a matter of months with the FAA-tested AvFinity NADIN CONNECT™ on AvFinity’s AEON™ AIRS™, a solution designed to speed airlines’ adoption of the FAA’s NextGen digital communications advancements. The AvFinity NADIN CONNECT provides rapid benefits from NextGen efficiencies and a reduction in airlines’ development time for a CMHP solution by as much as 24 months.  The appliance enables airlines to connect directly to the FAA for NADIN/ AFTN access and WMSCR and NOTAMs, passing data over TCP/IP through the added layer of the FAA’s secure Common Message Handling Protocol (CMHP).


By using AvFinity’s NADIN CONNECT, airlines realize multiple benefits through more rapid access to the promise of NextGen:
  • Compress the connection time via CMHP to NADIN/AFTN and WMSCR. NADIN Connect on AIRS means airlines drop costly, inefficient legacy X.25 technology and embrace the speed and simplicity of a TCP/IP connection.
  • Compress testing phases through software that has been approved and tested by the FAA. AvFinity’s NADIN CONNECT eliminates two-thirds of the mandatory FAA testing for internally produced applications versus our outsourced API products.
  • Option to use CMHP as an AvFinity managed service. The AvFinity Cloud will manage alerts to ensure key personnel receive flight-critical information via a web interface, email and/or mobile phone.
  • Acquire experts for remaining tests. AvFinity’s experts, with experience in all FAA CMHP tests, can help airlines through the necessary trials in order to get certified to connect via CMHP. This feature again compresses time to effective use of NextGen.
  • Benefit from software that runs simply and hassle-free. AvFinity’s NADIN CONNECT works as expected, perfectly and invisibly on the AvFinity AIRS appliance.
  • Save time and eliminate development costs. Researching the FAA’s library followed by writing an internal API to connect via CMHP will take two to three years (not including testing). AvFinity’s NADIN CONNECT is available today.
  • Seamless updates. AvFinity will provide revised versions whenever the FAA releases a newer version, which means your airline will always be up to date.
  • Keep familiar processes. The AIRS software with the NADIN CONNECT appliance integrates into an airline’s backend to replace existing connectivity. This feature allows your systems to maintain the same flight plan and weather procedures as usual.
  • Expand as NextGen grows. AvFinity is authorized to pass on newer versions of the FAA-provided CMHP library, so NADIN CONNECT will work with future FAA products reliant on the agency’s same proprietary message protocol.

Technical Specs

  1. Event-driven TCP/IP implementation to manage the CMHP library with lower CPU utilization. The AvFinity solution uses the port driver to notify the application versus polling the port.
  2. Patented scripting engine to handle front and back-end integration.
  3. Easy alteration of configurable parameters via a conf/ini file. An optional web interface for configuring is available.
  4. Robust logging system for monitoring CMHP using rotatable logs. The API rolls the log at 512KB up to three logs.
  5. CMHP alert mechanism to the web interface, email or SMS in case of an outage.
  6. Multiple instance capability using configurable parameters for handling multiple FAA products e.g., FAA requires one CMHP process for WMSCR and one for NADIN.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Xerox Agreement with AvFinity Helps Airlines Benefit from the Cloud

Technology advancements often mean communication formats and protocols suddenly become incompatible with even longtime communications partners.

So when considering more efficient technology options, the airline IT executive’s first internal question usually is:  How will my airline still be able to transmit all the vital data necessary to keep our aircraft flying?

Xerox (NYSE: XRX) business cloud services are solving this problem by helping airlines share critical information, such as flight plans and passenger details, with aviation agencies and partners domestically and internationally. It achieves this solution by blending its cloud capabilities with the aviation data expertise of AvFinity.  The combination of Xerox and AvFinity allows disparate communications systems to work seamlessly.                      

Built on Xerox’s on-demand cloud infrastructure (IaaS) and AvFinity’s patent-pending software (SaaS) known as AIRS™, the solution seamlessly shares important data and key transmissions from airlines to other carriers.  It does the same seamless communication with vital flight authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

For airlines, this means critical flight information arrives without interruption at its destination and meets each receiving party's format and protocol requirements. 

“There is no room for error in ensuring safety in the skies,” said Ken Stephens, senior vice president of cloud services, Xerox. “Airlines can now leapfrog to the cloud to expedite their communications and do so at costs much lower than maintaining existing mainframe systems.”

Airlines have long relied on legacy communications systems to transmit information.  Yet the skies are projected to become busier as mainstream, low cost and regional carriers all increase in numbers.   To manage that growth, the aviation industry as a whole desires to upgrade the way key information is shared, said Stephens.    

The Xerox and AvFinity agreement facilitates multiple flight-critical services and connects an airline with flight authorities that are continuously updating flight information such as weather and airport conditions.

“Now airlines can draw on the expertise of Xerox and AvFinity to provide seamless transmission of flight-critical communication,” said Doug Perkins, chief executive officer, AvFinity. “Airlines can transition from legacy systems that cost thousands annually to continually patch, and move to lower cost, secure cloud services backed by data communications experts.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

AvFinity’s OPEN Communications Hub

The aviation industry must control costs in all areas. Unfortunately, most cost-cutting solutions take years to realize savings (e.g., introducing online bookings to phase out paper tickets or modernizing baggage and freight handling). The OPEN Communication Hub is unique among cost-controlling solutions in that it immediately can simplify the airline business with significant savings while imparting efficiency and messaging control from the time of installation.

AIRS is the key to rapid implementation for the OPEN Communication Hub. AIRS handles all flight-critical data regardless of format, communications protocol or transport medium. AIRS’ unique ability to link legacy and more modern IT architectures permits all airlines—including those with unsophisticated IT systems—to communicate immediately with all other airlines, government authorities and other required entities.

AIRS revolutionizes messaging in ways that the aviation industry has never before considered. It brings communications management, simplification, knowledge transfer and collaborative capabilities to the control of airlines for the first time in the history of aviation. In this way, AIRS redefines airline communications.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flexible, Open Aviation Messaging

Increasingly, more airlines are now required to connect to partner airlines through new network channels. This is especially true in today’s climate of alliances, mergers and code shares. Airlines need to make communications changes at a moment’s notice. And to achieve that flexibility once meant throwing the problem to a costly team of developers or a legacy provider. But it’s much easier in today’s environment.

Today, airlines increasingly choose newer, open network technologies like those offered by AvFinity to increase their options. The reward for airlines that choose AvFinity is a flexible, open network that allows carriers control over their messaging for the first time in aviation history.

A recent example is a North American regional airline that needed to send messages in a new address format to its legacy airline partner. With AvFinity’s new technologies, such as AIRS™, the regional airline found a fast and efficient way to make the in-house adjustments automatically without the normal associated costs of legacy networks. The solution required no legacy message providers, no costly development team and provided lower messaging costs.

Airlines also have been migrating much of their network messaging through IBM WebSphere MQ channels. To simplify airline MQ management for airlines, AvFinity incorporated IBM WebSphere MQ, either Client or Server, as part of its embedded services. This feature increases airline flexibility by enabling the management of any number of MQ channels to handle the growth in message flows.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons Trans States Holdings, Inc. recently chose AIRS for its three airlines.

AIRS also provides airlines with vital data communications, plus message formatting, routing and managing, integration into office systems, connectivity to government border and flight authorities, and much more.

AvFinity has a proven track record in improving and modernizing airlines’ data communications systems. For proof look no farther than the fact that more than half of North America’s regional airlines have adopted AvFinity technology in just the first 18 months that AIRS has been on the market. AvFinity has helped these airlines migrate from closed, proprietary systems to the new, open, more flexible communications technology that will identify the aviation industry of this century.

Monday, January 23, 2012

AvFinity Can Help Airlines With CBSA March 31, 2012 Deadline

Airlines that fly into Canada have until March 31, 2012, to transition to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) new API data acquisition solution. CBSA will not allow further extensions and airlines failing to transition by the deadline will suffer penalties.

AvFinity can help if your airline hasn’t started the process yet. AvFinity has been qualified by CBSA to be an authorized service provider with direct CBSA connectivity. We put our considerable technical expertise to work for you. We feature high quality MQ connectivity due to its non-repudiation and assured delivery capabilities.

If your airline is required to connect CBSA, AvFinity is your best value service provider.

Contact us today to begin the process of connecting to CBSA. For more information on our APIS services, including connectivity to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and to CARICOM, visit our web site.